What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplishing

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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Lotus_Bitch wrote:This article references, from the Pali canon, the number of lay practitioners who reached any of these 4 stages:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Lay_arahant

So, drop all that.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:33 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Lotus_Bitch wrote:This article references, from the Pali canon, the number of lay practitioners who reached any of these 4 stages:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Lay_arahant

So, drop all that.


It was posted more to show what could possibly be acheived by a lay practitioner rather than convincing anyone to think that was evidence for any such attainments.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:59 pm

:namaste:
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby invisiblediamond » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:42 pm

smcj wrote:Let us back up a second and remember that Dharma practice is usually said to be a multi-lifetime project.


Not Vajrayana or Dzogchen. A few years is all.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:32 am

invisiblediamond wrote:
smcj wrote:Let us back up a second and remember that Dharma practice is usually said to be a multi-lifetime project.

Not Vajrayana or Dzogchen. A few years is all.

Be that as it may, evidently none of us made it to the finish line last lifetime.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby seeker242 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:55 am

What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplishing


The practice of a Buddha. :namaste:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby M.G. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:07 am

Depends on the practitioner.

Lay practice was not of real benefit to me. Others have had very different experiences.

Certainly, individuals will have different opinions as to what constitutes meaningful spiritual accomplishment.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby jeeprs » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:39 am

I think the answer is: exactly the kind of practice they need, if only they persist and overcome obstacles.

I have found that all these obstacles are self-generating. I do frequently state the intention to arise every day a little before 6:00am so I can sit before the day starts. I frequently miss that appointment, through nobody's failure but my own. I also do other things - mainly fairly trivial and petty, but still better avoided - which amount to 'self-sabotage'.

So I think if a lay person can actually observe the lay precepts and stick to a 'practice calendar' whilst also looking after their responsibilities, they're doing a pretty fine job, all and all, and I think if they can do that they ought not to worry about 'attaining' anything.
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:44 am

...and I think if they can do that they ought not to worry about 'attaining' anything.

As long as somebody is making progress in the right direction that's all that matters. Nobody knows how far away the finish line is for them, and even if you don't make it in this life your next incarnation will thank you.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:55 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:and i could imagine that shamatha is useful accomplishment in dzogchen also. the natural state will remain only as a glimpse, glimpse , glimpse , glimpse since the mind is restless and thus not able to concentrate.

Very true, Malcolm shared this some time ago:

Whether you are following Dzogchen or Mahamudra, and regardless of your intellectual understanding, your meditation should have, at base, the following characteristics:

Prthvi -- physical ease
Sukha -- mental joy
Ekagraha -- one-pointedness
Vitarka -- initial engagement
Vicara -- sustained engagement 

If any of these is missing, you have not even achieved perfect śamatha regardless of whether or not you are using an external object, the breath or even the nature of the mind. 
...
Even in Dzogchen the five mental factors I mentioned are key without which you are really not going to make any progress.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby ngodrup » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:01 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:what i have read and more over how i personally feel about this is that shamatha is necessity if you want liberation or accomplish higher practices of vajrayana.

but there are practices for every capacity like you said, and that is great. so everyone can practice and move towards liberation, but if youre in a rush and want to really achieve liberation during this lifetime, then maybe doing retreats or spending some years as a monk or the whole lifetime could be necessary or helpful. for some people. of course this does not apply to all. so i cant generalize. this is how i feel it is for me, so i can only speak from my experience.


In response to the first statement. According to Vajrayana, as it is taught in the Ngagyur Nyingma system, there is no difference.
Sadhana (liturgy) *is* shamatha, and Sadhana is vipassana, plain and simple. The reasoning goes like this-- in the Hinayana and Mahayana
shamatha may rely on an object such as as breath, but there's nothing special about breathing. But in the Vajrayana, the object is an image
of Buddha -- the rupakaya, the speech of Buddha -- mantra, etc. Shamatha and Vipassana are seen is generic terms that have different meaning
in different vehicles. So even if we Vajrayanists *never* do silent sitting, we are still doing shamatha and vipassana. Likewise, if we are doing certain
practices like chod, it may actually be (depending on the text and the practitioner) the actual practice of Mahamudra or Dzogchen, just in the guise of
ritual.

But nobody who is practicing Buddhism escapes the practices of purifcation and merit -- regardless of their life circumstance-- whether monastic, yogic or lay.
The question is really how much can you do, ad how thoroughly and intensely?
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby SunRay » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:52 am

Jikan wrote:Your thoughts?


:namaste: The lay people practice what is known as the perfection of wisdom. I feel that it is very virtuous to be a layperson and as such, in one's infinite compassion, provide mother sentient beings with the opportunity to act as Holy Lamas and to gather oceans of merit by teaching one dharma, perform pujas, etc. :meditate:
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:34 am

To return to the OP there is nothing in the lay life, including sex, which in and of itself prevents seeing our original nature.
Which seeing incidentally, is not posited on Shamatha or any other technique.
Quite clearly ( imo ) many eastern Buddhist monastics have found a role which carries a good deal of social valorisation.
And imo some western Buddhists monastics have found a means of legitimising their social neurosis.
The future of western Dharma lies with the laity. In fact only they will be around in any numbers in 100 years.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:53 am

it is said that the buddhas teachings will stay and flourish as long as there are monastics. and in the prophecy of the buddha there is 2500 years to go until the buddhas teachings dissapear completely. so i cant agree with everything you just said.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:03 am

Oh. all sorts of mythos has developed around Dharma. Much of it a strategy to maintain the institutional aspect. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:07 am

might be that aspect too involved in it, but monastics are the ones who in most cases teach us the dharma.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:23 am

Speak for yourself sir. :smile: My root guru spent most of his adult life as a married man. My teacher is a married man.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:05 am

i said in most cases, and that seems to be a fact. without the monastics there wouldnt be vajrayana in the western world at all.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:45 am

I think the facts speak differently.
Among the main and major influnces in the Vajrayana coming west a large proportion are or were laymen. They include Dilgo Khyenste R., Dudjom Rinpoche R., Mingyur R., CTR., the late Akong Rinpoche co founder of the largest centre in Europe, Chime R. and Chnn.
Each of these are examples of teachers whose authority is derived from the degree of their realisation rather than on an institutionalised social structure.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:45 pm

All the practices which are not for "standpeople"! :P
Okay, okay, that was my bad joke of the day... lol

Anyway, I definitely agree that the answer to this question depends on the layperson in question and on what his/her lifestyle is like. For example, one member of a Tibetan Buddhist sangha I used to attend was an extremely amazing person: He had 5 children and performed many duties for his lama and his sangha, but also maintained a regular daily practice of ngondro which he practiced very sincerely and he was able to practice it anywhere (even while driving!) because he had memorized his ngondro text in both Tibetan and in English. But his wife is also a member of his sangha, so that makes things a bit easier, but still, he has more energy and motivation than anybody I have ever met! So in many cases, it's a matter of motivation.
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